Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Endogamous Father

Nearly a month ago, I did a post on how I was able to see which of my DNA segments came from which ancestor.  I did the same thing with Kitty Cooper's Chromosome Matcher for my father's DNA and was able to see the endogamy underlying in my father's Ashkenazic DNA.
My father's DNA, on his father's side

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Mazal tov, it's a (63-year-old) boy!

My great-great grandfather, Shmuel Moshe Rutner was born in what was then Darva, Austria-Hungary (now Kolodne, Ukraine), in 1855.  So when I was going through some birth records from the town that began in 1895, I didn't expect to find his birth.
Birth Record, Mosko Ruttner, 1855 (registered 1918)

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Uncle Izzy Joshowitz's Birthday

My grandmother's brother, Isadore Joshowitz (my Uncle Izzy), was the only child in the family born in Europe; my grandmother and their other siblings were all born in Pennsylvania.  Uncle Izzy never knew his exact birthday and always celebrated it as though he were born on February 12, 1913.

Well, he wasn't too far off....
Birth Record, Ignacz Joszovics; Darva (Kolodne), Austria-Hungary; 1913

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Chaim Joshowitz's Signature--Kind Of

My great-great grandfather was Chaim Joshowitz.  I saw his name as the source of information for the death record for his sister-in-law Basha Eizikovics Lebovics and got excited--all of the other death records I'd been looking at for Kolodne had the signature of the person who reported a death!
Death Record for Basha Eizikovics Lebovics; Kolodne; 1905

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Zubkis Family in 1875--With Some Mysteries

My great-great-great grandfather, Shaul Ber Zubkis, was listed in the 1875 Russian Empire census in the town of Kuna--but it was noted there that he and his 2-year-old son Shaya (my great-great grandfather) were living in Shpikov.  It turns out that Shaul Ber was also listed in the 1875 census as taken in Shpikov in an addendum for those who were registered in other towns.
Zubkis Family; 1875 Russian Empire Census; Shpikov; page 1

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Speaking in Philadephia Next Week

I'll be speaking in Philadelphia on December 20, 2015.

Mindel Joshowitz's Death, Two New Ancestors, and a New Ancestral Surname

I knew that my grandmother Minnie was named for her grandmother, Mindel Eizikovics Joshowitz.  And I knew that Mindel, whose husband was Chaim, died in Europe, at some point before my grandmother's cousin Minnie was born in 1916.  But that's all I knew--until now.
Death Record for "Minda Eizikovics," wife of Chajim Joszovics

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Reparations for Avraham Beitch

My great grandfather, Avraham Beitch, was killed in the Holocaust.  I know bits and pieces about him from my grandmother, but not a ton.  However, in 1950, his wife Sheva applied for reparations for her husband's death, giving us some insight into Avraham's pre-war life.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Death of Chaim Joshowitz--And the Addition of Two Ancestors

My great-great grandfather was Chaim Joshowitz.  I knew that from his son Josef's gravestone and death certificate.  And I knew that he died in 1927 or earlier, since my grandmother's youngest brother Herbie was named for Chaim.  But other than the fact that his wife was Mindel Eizikovics, that's about all I knew about him.  Until now.
Chaim Joshowitz Death Record

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Mapping my DNA

As more and more of my known relatives have done DNA tests, I've been wanting to figure out which of my DNA came from which relative--both for my own curiosity as well as when new matches come in, to be able to determine on which side they were matching.

Kitty Cooper's Chromosome Matcher gives the ability to take known relatives' DNA and attribute shared DNA to known shared ancestors.  So I tried it.  And liked it.